My name is Don. I am interested in learning more about the craft of pizza making. My interest in this is due to intense frustration with the lousy mass produced quality of once-great pizza brands in my home town of Dayton.
The style of pizza I'd REALLY like to make does not exist any more... it is a style pioneered in the Dayton, Ohio area by the Cassano's chain back in the 50s and 60s.
Here's what their classical product from the 60s was like. The pizza crust was extremely thin, but had more texture than just a cracker. The bottom of the pizza was highly salted. The crust would be baked at such high temperature that the crust actually blistered underneath the sauce. We usually ordered the pizza topped with pepperoni, which would be cut wafer thin so that the pieces would cup during baking. The flavor and aroma of the pepperoni they used was utterly unique - the heat brought out what I suspect were coriander and other spices and herbs. If I could smell that smell today I'd have a flashback to 1968, I swear.
This pizza was always cut into small squares.
The main signature of a great Dayton pizza is the crust, which was almost like a round pastry covered with sauce, cheese and toppings. My understanding is that Cassano's was an adaptation of St. Louis style pizza.
Nobody anywhere today makes a pizza like that $1.25 Cassano's classic from 1968.
The closest current imitation is by a mini-chain in the area, Ron's Pizza, based in Miamisburg, which was set up as a higher quality protege' of Cassano's recipe. Ron's is a darned good pizza.
Donato's is a mass produced version of this Dayton style product. But the crust is too thick and doughy to really qualify and when you reheat it, even on an oven rack, it gets limp. I'll get Donato's if we have a hunger for pizza, and it's OK, but it's not really what I am looking for. Donato's product seriously frustrates me. It comes SO close but it still misses the mark by a mile.
Ok, here is some porn from my kitchen now.http://posteddocs.nfshost.com/IMG_0867.JPGhttp://posteddocs.nfshost.com/IMG_0869.JPGhttp://posteddocs.nfshost.com/SG1L3846.JPGhttp://posteddocs.nfshost.com/SG1L3877.JPG
...Now that I've posted an intro, can I PLEASE search the forum!!!??
Anyway, I hope to contribute as well as leech knowledge...